The Power of Persistence

ذو الحجة 10, 1431

To get where he is today, Special Olympics power lifter David Hill has moved mountains – or at least his mom thinks so.  

300x200 David Hill lifts weights

Delaware's David Hill took on over 500 pounds in the dead-weight event at the USA National Games. The 26-year-old won gold for his squat of 430 pounds, along with three silver medals.

The 26-year-old has come a long way over the years – and his mother, Corrine Pearson, gives much of the credit to Special Olympics.

"If it was not for Special Olympics, David would not have a normal quality of life,” she says. “Since he became involved, I have seen him blossom."

David has Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, a rare disorder often associated with seizures. Among other things, LKS can lead to the loss of the ability to understand and use spoken language. David's mother says he appeared to be developing normally until he was a toddler, when he suffered his first seizure. She says that event robbed him of the language skills he'd acquired by then – and after that David did not speak. Pearson recalls that "he could not even tell me he wanted a glass of water."

One day, David's little sister, Sara, was about to touch an iron and David yelled out, "No Sara! Hot!"  Pearson realized that David was capable of speaking, but didn’t seem to be interested in doing so -- or confident enough to try.

That’s where she says Special Olympics has been a huge help.  Because of his language barrier, David had not been able to take part in sports programs. He was also too shy to talk, even when he learned how.  But she says Special Olympics has given David confidence and an opportunity to express himself among peers. "It's become his whole social network," says Pearson. She says the program has also helped him overcome the frustration that can come with a disability. "David used to be so hard on himself. But he has learned through sport that once you give your best, you’re a winner."

She also says David's thought process is sharper – because of organized practices and competition, David has had to learn organization. As a result, he's become more constructive with his time. These days, David is speaking very clearly. His hard work has brought him gold medals in tennis, basketball and bowling, as well as powerlifting.

And Pearson says David's increasing confidence has helped beyond the sports arena. He now works at his local Home Depot, where he's had to learn to something he had never been able to do: interact with the public – meaning people he doesn't know. "He is able to do all that because of Special Olympics. It is the only thing I can attribute it to – It has increased his confidence that much."

For every athlete like David there are many more waiting for their chance.  Donate and help us reach out to one more person who wants to participate in Special Olympics.


Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

DONATE TODAY»

Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

LEARN MORE»

Follow Us

ساعدنا في الوصول إلى بطل رياضي آخر

التبرع »

تعرف على الأحداث المحلية وتعلم المزيد حول فرص المتطوعين في أي من مكاتبنا البالغ عددها 220 من كل أنحاء العالم

العثور على موقع بالقرب منك »

Our Supporters

AVSC RecordThe most successful benefit recording in musical history.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Annenberg FoundationSupports our goals for coaches’ excellence.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Bank of AmericaSupports Special Olympics Team USA.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Coca-ColaOfficial global partner of Special Olympics.
Learn More »


Our Supporters

ESPNWorldwide support for Unified Sports.Learn More »


Our Supporters

EssilorOfficial global supplier of ophthalmic lenses.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Health One GlobalGlobal health data technology partner.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Hear the WorldSupplies hearing aids to our athletes.Learn More »


Our Supporters

AIPSGlobal Impact Partner for Special Olympics.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Lions ClubSupports access to quality eye care.Learn More »


Our Supporters

MattelSupports various youth programs.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Procter & GambleProvides marketing campaigns that support our athletes.Learn More »


Our Supporters

SafewayRaises funds and awareness for people with disabilities.Learn More »


Our Supporters

SàfiloSupplies optical frames and sunglasses.Learn More »


Our Supporters

UNICEFProvides greater inclusion of children with disabilities.Learn More »


Our Supporters

MTM RecognitionSupplier of awards and medals for our athletes.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Perfect Sense DigitalSpecial Olympics' leading digital partner.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Y&RPowering our global youth marketing campaign.Learn more »


Special Olympics Blog

A Powerful Prescription

"Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug."read more »

Posted on 2014-05-06 by Healthy Athletes

go to blog »


*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan